Periodontal or gum health is one of the most important aspects of your dental health. Your gums are the ‘glue’ that secure your teeth to bone, without good gum maintenance bacteria is able to colonize gum tissue causing your gums to recede which then can lead to bone loss eventually ending in the loss of your tooth/teeth. One measure to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly visit your dental hygienist dentist for cleanings and exams. If caught early, periodontal disease is reversible. If the disease is minor and hasn’t reached severe levels, a periodontal scaling and root planing will be necessary. This phase one of periodontal disease protocol, which aims to stops the progression of the disease and bone loss.
Periodontal Therapy, Phase One
Phase one of periodontal therapy is known as an SRP (scaling & root planing). This involves significant scraping, scaling and digging of the root surfaces of the teeth. This procedure is non-surgical but if necessary and desired topical anesthesia can be applied.
Scaling involves a scaler, which looks like a pencil with a curvature at the end. Your hygienist will remove tartar deposits below your gum tissue. Plaque, which is bacterial film that grows in hard to reach pockets of the gums, will also be removed. Next, an ultrasonic instrument will blast deposits that are adhered to surfaces that cannot be scaled off.
The next step is root planing, which specifically goes after the bacterial biofilms growing underneath your gums. Root planing will also smooth over these areas, preventing future bacterial growth with proper care.
Once completed inflamed gum tissue should reduce and tighten around your teeth and bone. A 90-day visit after your periodontal procedure is necessary to make sure proper healing has occurred.
Most importantly, is to make sure you are taking care of your gum health at home. This means brushing & flossing regularly and could include using an antibacterial rinse called Peridex. Using Peridex stains the surfaces of your teeth, so your dentist might recommend a whitening treatment to make sure your teeth do not discolor.
Laser Gum Surgery, Phase Two
Patients with cases of advanced bone loss/periodontal disease need specialty care to ensure perfect oral health. Until fairly recently patients would have to travel and seek periodontists (gum specialists) to perform these types of procedures. The recovery time was long and painful. With the advancement of technology, we are happy to perform these types of procedures using Lasers! The use of lasers ensures a faster recovery time and a less painful visit.